Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk and founder of A Network For Grateful Living, is nearly 90 years old. He has witnessed many of the painful and tragic events of the twentieth century. And yet, as he shared in a recent Foundation-sponsored episode of Krista Tippett’s On Being, his commitment to gratitude is undiminished.
Subject Public Engagement
Sinai and Synapses is a project that launched two years ago by Rabbi Geoff Mitelman to bridge the gap between science and religion and explore big questions through both perspectives. Now, two initiatives aimed at deepening the engagement between Jewish thought and modern science have been launched by the organization.
Innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity, and future-mindedness—these are the qualities that Purpose Prize winners over the past decade have demonstrated, and this year’s six Purpose Prize recipients continue this trend. Announced on November 13, the winners’ innovative projects include intergenerational music camps and advocacy on behalf of children with disabilities. The awards for these social entrepreneurs over the age of 60 will be presented by Encore.org, with support from the John Templeton Foundation.
The science of gratitude has been prominent across the U.S. during the Thanksgiving season, receiving a boost from a new survey supported by the John Templeton Foundation. The survey found that on Thanksgiving, “people are happy to watch football and parades or eat until they’re more stuffed than the turkey. But they’re not as good at using the day to express gratitude,” explains Janice Kaplan, a Foundation grantee and author of The Gratitude Diaries.
Astrobiology poses many big questions about the origin and evolution of life on Earth by considering the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe. To explore these possibilities, The Center of Theological Inquiry (CTI) is now inviting applications for an intensive residential program, “Searching For Life: An Inquiry on the Societal Implications of Astrobiology,” supported by the John Templeton Foundation and NASA.
When Sir John Templeton set out to fulfill his philanthropic vision, he opened the door not only to the science behind giving and gratitude as distinct virtues, but also to the cyclic relationship between the two. “Thanksgiving leads to giving, and to spiritual growth,” he pointedly wrote. This innate connection is examined in a new book, The Giving Way to Happiness, a collection of stories and reflections on giving and gratitude alongside the growing body of science—much of which has been the result of funding from the John Templeton Foundation.
In rural South Dakota, physicists descend an abandoned mineshaft—the deepest in the U.S.—to almost a mile underground in search of the most elusive of particles: dark matter. The rest of this story unfolds in a new online video, “4850 Feet Below: The Hunt for Dark Matter,” part of the Science Friday Big Questions Digital Video Series supported by the John Templeton Foundation.
Science and Islam is a hot topic on the internet; a Google search will show millions of hits. Videos discussing key themes such as Islam and evolution are particularly prevalent, though their quality is often questionable from the standpoint of both mainstream science and Islam. The new Science and Islam Video Portal, funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, offers a guide through this mass of content.
An eight-part series, “Faith & Science in the 21st Century,” has started its run on Day1, a non-profit ministry radio program geared towards mainline Protestant American churches. The series, which is funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, will feature leading theologians and scientists exploring key issues in science and religion.
“There is no greater tonic and perhaps no more potent tonic for our spirit than gratitude,” wrote Sir John Templeton. Millions have recognized that wisdom: when acclaimed filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg’s TEDx talk on gratitude was posted, it became a viral sensation. “Nature’s beauty is a gift that cultivates appreciation and gratitude,” he says. “It creates a gateway for your inner voice to rise up and be heard.” The science of gratitude has now built a considerable body of findings which supports such intuitions.